Beethe receives local art scholarship
Friday, September 7, 2007
By Alison Roberts
Beethe, Oklahoma Christian University senior, received the first
scholarship ever granted by Oklahoma’s “The Girlie Show” this June.
Celebrating its fourth year, The Girlie Show is an annual art show
created specifically to “promote and encourage talented Oklahoma female
Beethe, a graphic design major, was chosen among six finalists to
receive a $1000 award and given the opportunity to showcase her work in
Blue 7, a local clothing store. The gallery opening held in early
August was another first for Beethe.
“The Blue 7 exhibit was my first solo show and the first major show I’d been in,” Beethe said. “It was a little nerve-racking.”
Despite her anticipation, Beethe considers the show a success. She sold
some of her work and made many new friends in the Oklahoma City art
Beethe first heard about the scholarship contest last October
during The Girlie Show, but nearly passed up the opportunity to enter
the contest because of a question regarding qualifications. Originally
from Houston, she did not know if she would be considered an Oklahoma
“I was not a legitimate resident of Oklahoma, so I didn’t think much about it,” Beethe said.
In February she was given a new application form by her painting
professor, David Crismon. Beethe decided to verify the residency
requirements and was surprised to find out that she was considered an
“This is a good chance [for Jessica] to establish herself in public,” Crismon said.
After filing an application form and sending in samples of her
work, Beethe was notified that she qualified as a finalist. She met
with judges for a face-to-face interview. The judges asked her about
her art, school, career plans and personal beliefs. About two months
later, a time when Beethe said she had almost forgotten about the
application, she received a telephone call notifying her that she had
“My phone went off at about 11 AM,” Beethe said. “The lady on the other end told me I’d won, and I didn’t go back to sleep.”
To prepare for her opening, Beethe created 25 new pieces, a feat that surprised the artist.
“I don’t work very fast, and my inspiration is slow in coming and
quick at going,” Beethe said. “I was rather worried that I wouldn’t
have enough pieces to fill the space.”
Beethe has been drawing since she was a child, and the choice for
her to pursue an art education was a natural one. Beethe said she is
drawn to the “meditative qualities” she finds when creating works.
“Beauty, thought, ‘right and wrong,’ creativity, inspiration, and
‘self’ all come under heated scrutiny when an artist is trying to
figure out what he or she does,” Beethe said.
Her artistic influences vary from Japanese animation, to the Art
Nouveau Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to Tim Burton
and Jim Henson. Beethe does not feel that her style can be narrowed
down to one particular genre.
“I draw what I see inside my head,” Beethe said.
Though she will not graduate until April, Beethe is already making
plans for her future career. In January, Beethe joined fellow Oklahoma
Christian students, Keegan O’Keefe and Jacob Berken, and University of
Central Oklahoma student, Paul Wilkes, in creating a multi-talented
design company known as Red House Studios.
“Waiting until your certificate is in your hand, and you are out
the door before starting your plans is a waste of resources, time,
money, and energy,” Beethe said. “Experience is the best teacher.”
Beethe is grateful for the experience this award has allowed her to
express herself through her art and urges others to pursue their
passion just as whole-heartedly.
“Get up, get out and go do something in your line of work,” Beethe said. “Surprise yourself with what you can do.”